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The Last Word

News/Business. (2013) New.

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Clinton 17, Joe Biden 13, Wayne Lapierre 8, Us 6, U.s. 6, United States 4, Libya 4, Washington 4, John Boehner 3, Obama 3, Marco Rubio 3, Susan Rice 3, George Takei 3, California 2, Selma 2, Msnbc 2, Ezra 2, Coricidin Hbp 2, Barack Obama 2, Krystal 2,
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  MSNBC    The Last Word    News/Business.  (2013) New.  

    January 23, 2013
    7:00 - 8:00pm PST  

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sitting behind max bacchus and his giant hat. ken salazar, the guy who always wears a cowboy hat, but on monday, he didn't, instead always wears a baseball hat. i have no idea why. one sure sign that it brings people together, steven chew, on your right, congressman dana rohrbacher, not much in common, except the rob the liquor store stocking caps for these two. both saved up for the day. justice scalia wore a more floppy hat, but he wants you to know his is supposed to look like this one, modelled after the german portrait of sir thomas moore, who had his head cut off. after the weird hat was the most
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remarked piece of head gear, since aretha franklin's hat in 2009. and i admit, mr. scalia's hat is notable, but nowhere near as notable, as congressman? what are you doing? for the record to be clear, the first lady on monday wore tom brown, and she looked amazing. and chris and i have no idea what we are talking about, but we are lucky to cover such occasions, even though we sometimes screw them up. jim, call me. have a great evening. >> today was the day republicans have been waiting for, today, the day they could finally prove their conspiracy theory about how president obama and susan rice and hillary clinton conspired to hide the truth from the american people. all they had to do was get hillary clinton to crack under the awesome pressure of
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testifying to congress. something she actually mastered 20 years ago. >> capitol hill, locust of dysfunction, hall of smoke and mirrors. >> secretary clinton will face answers that republicans have wanted to ask for months. >> is the u.s. involved with transferring weapons to turkey? >> to turkey. >> they were just throwing everything against the wall. >> we were misled. >> we were not given a clear picture. >> no one has been held accountable. >> had i been president at the time. >> senator rand paul. >> i would have relieved you of your post. >> it was a pukefest. >> i have said many times i took responsibility. >> what difference at this point does it make? >> we have seen these kinds of dramas before. >> i am particularly pleased to appear before you, mr. chairman, making sure we are all moving forward. >> we want to express our thanks
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to you for the presentation day. >> this one was pretty tough. >> our conference will look to vote on a measure tomorrow. >> the yes are two. >> that will temporarily extend the debt ceiling. >> the ayes are 245, the nays, 144. >> up until now, they have been about politics. >> the american people won't accept an increase in the debt limit without significant spending cuts. >> if we don't cut spending. >> it hands the president his second major win. >> republicans have come to our new majority to fix what is wrong. >> there is an amazing amount of soul-searching going on. >> my friends it was a puke fest. >> they blinked, we welcomed the outcome of their retreat. >> nothing exposes congressional ignorance and incompetent actions better than a congressional hearing. you actually have to know something to sound impressive in
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a congressional hearing. it is not just reading speeches, it is interactive. asking a question of the chairman of the federal reserve or making any kind of statement to him when he is actually there to respond is a grand opportunity to look and sound like an idiot. an opportunity that many senators and house members have taken over the years. witnesses at congressional hearings in the house and the senate tend to know a little more, in fact much more about the subject at hand than the members of the committee listening to them. today, the most experienced testifyer under pressure in modern washington history took the hill. >> good morning, mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, i have greatly appreciated all of this effort that has gone into making sure that we are all moving forward and trying to realize the hope
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of providing health security for every american. >> the pressure is on potential presidential candidates in high profile hearings. >> we have now set the bar so low that modest improvement in what was a completely chaotic situation, to the point where now we just have the levels of intolerable violence that existed in june of 2006 is considered success. and it is not. this continues to be a terrible foreign policy mistake. and now we are confronted with the question, how do we clean up the mess. >> senator obama knew he needed to have a presidential level of credibility in such hearings. republican senator marco rubio has been talking tough about benghazi for months. >> one of the narratives that
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the obama campaign has laid out, osama bin laden is dead, they e retreated. you start to say do they allow any story to emerge that counters that narrative. is that why they told us that benghazi was a popular uprising, because it ran counter to their campaign narrative. >> and so the pressure was on senator rubio to deliver to all his fans all the fire and brim stone they had a right to expect. he was not just facing the secretary of state, who took responsibility for what happened in benghazi. he was facing possibly the next democratic nominee for president. tonight, the marco rubio fans could not be more disappointed. >> one of the things that i'm more interested in exploring to you, how information flows within the state department. were you ever asked to participate in any sort of internal or inter-agency meeting before this attack with regard
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to the deteriorating security situation in libya? did this issue come up with regard to the inability of the libya government to protect our institutions? did that come up? >> of course, or, absolutely, there was a constant conversation, senator. >> before the attack in benghazi, what had we done specifically to help them build their security capacities? >> well, there is a long list and i'll be happy to provide that to you, because it is filled with, you know, training, with equipment. with the kind of planning that they had not done before. and i would be happy to send you the detail on that, senator. >> the most experienced senators, when facing a strong, experienced witness, do not make the mistake of actually asking questions. they use their five minutes to make speeches instead, and leave as little time as possible for answers. >> why is it that the administration still refuses to
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provide the full text of e-mails regarding the talking points? why do we care? because if the classified information had been received, it gives an entirely different account of the events. by the way, as i said at the time, i just happened to be at the talk show, people don't bring rpgs and mortars there. >> and then the surprise, the congressman whose name you didn't know, who makes you turn and say who is that? that happened to me today when i heard this. >> let me just say, i'm actually an air force pilot, one of a handful of republicans to vote to support the president's position in libya. i think we did the right thing there. the air basis 1,044 miles from benghazi, it is an f-16 base,
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airplanes could have been in the air, there could be nonviolent things that they could do of to dispurse crowds that i know well. >> that is republican kinzinger, who won a swing district, where he has to appeal to democrats and republicans. he served in iraq, and is currently a pilot in the air national guard. he is part politician, part super hero. he once tackled and disarmed a man who slashed a woman's throat. the attacker was arrested and the woman survived. he was named one of time magazine's 40 under 40 rising stars of american politics. marco rubio should be very, very worried about adam kizinger. >> the other question i have, too, i'm laying a few out for
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you. the team, the foreign response team, was that your situation not to deploy that, was that logistics? i'm worried about the strategy of leading from behind. if the united states ambassador in libya, and i say this respectfully can't get a message forward to the secretary of state about his concern about security, in one of the most hot zones in the world, i worry about a lead from behind strategy. and if we have no assets on alert that can respond in a seven-hour lull in two different attacks in the most hot -- one of the most hot spots in the country -- in the world, on 9/11, on the anniversary, is the lead from behind strategy failing, because i really want american leadership to be strong. i believe in freedom, and i believe we're the people that are going to be able to take freedom around the globe. >> he was asking perfectly reasonable questions in which he inserted the irrelevant but
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partisan phrase leading from behind, in order to appeal to his base, which is a smart move for him. but here is secretary clinton's answer. >> thank you for your service, and here is there, a lot packed into that. let me see what i can cover quickly and then we'll get the rest to you in writing. dod took every action it could take, starting from the time that the president directed secretary panetta and chairman dempsey to do so. again, i turn to the argument, that is the factual based finding, the board found for delays or arguments, quite the contrary, the safe evacuation of all u.s. personnel from benghazi 12 hours after the initial attack, and subsequently, it was the result of exceptional u.s.
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coordination and military response and helped save the lives of two severely wounded americans. now, having said that, i think it is important we do more to coordinate with dod along the lines of what you're talking about. because who knows what is going to be facing us in the next months and years? >> joining me now, krystal ball, host of msnbc's "the cycle." krystal, not a single dot was connected to any other dot in the republican conspiracy theory dream of what happened here. >> and they have been waiting for this moment, for so long. and they got absolutely nothing because hillary clinton is so good in these situations. here is the thing that is so amazing about her and about her career in politics. you know, out of her husband's scandal and out of the republican absolute hatred of
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her, she becomes a senator and great senator. out of her presidential loss, she becomes secretary of state and is never more popular or esteemed. this was supposed to be the start of her political undoing coming into 2016, i think she emerges looking better than ever before. we're all reminded of just how capable and how serious this woman really is. >> steve clemens, she is also very difficult to lay a glove on as a witness in congressional hearings, which everybody learned in 1994, when she went around with the health care bill. the bill, it turned out, was doomed. but her presentation and her testimony was unshakeable. authoritative, clear, and left no question unanswered. and we saw that today. >> well, lawrence, when she was running for president i went back and studied her record to try and see whether or not she was a passive legislator or had skill sets, and she really
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drilled down. i actually went to find the boring and least visible moments of hillary clinton's senate career when she was the leader of the environment and pickup works committee. and what you saw her do on the witness stand today she did as a senator in the committee. she had drilled down into such detail, into issues that you and i and most of the viewers tonight would not be interested in. and so she exhibited something today that is just part of her dna, and her ability to really know thoroughly something so that people like ron johnson and rand paul and hers who tried to throw her off her game. they looked embarrassing. this is not only somebody who is one of the most popular politicians in the country, but somebody who for obvious reasons had drilled down so deeply into this issue that they were the ones that began to look immature, versus a very profound, capable, person that hillary clinton displayed. >> steve, i am so glad you mentioned public works, because that is a lot of what people
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consider very boring stuff. i used to be the chief of staff of that committee, and i can attest to a certain amount of bore hearings. barbara boxers, others take committees like that and turn them into real forums for real learning, crystal, especially in the hearing process. this, today was one of those hearing situations in both bodies in the senate and the house, where the adversesarial side, where they were hoping to prove and could only have proved in a perry mason moment, where miracle just cracks and confesses. >> you're right, you discovered it. it was in the kitchen with the butter knife. look, she came in fully prepared, be and they were relying on basically unreliable fox news and drudge reports, to
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make their case initially against susan rice and later, hillary clinton. when you are actually faced with the facts and hillary clinton herself, their argument doesn't stand up to scrutiny. i think that was clear today. >> and steve what you have to find today is a motive for susan rice or hillary clinton or president obama, or any one of them in the administration is to mislead, to actively try to prevent false facts about what happened in benghazi. and no one has ever come close to suggesting any kind of motive. >> no, i think that is absolutely right. hillary clinton demonstrated what a professional she is by saying she absolutely takes responsibility. and with the review board's work, she has gone to sort of look through this question of what ought to be a direct reporting of crises up to the secretary level. but also what has not received as much attention, she is warning there are other facilities out there today. very true on the day the tragedy
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occurred. people died, ambassador stevens and three other great americans died in this conflict. and we today have under-resourced defenses for other facilities. and she said we need to fix this. and those members of the gop who were launching the attacks on her, some of them have been part of the process of trying to undermine diplomacy of the state department for years. and this is time to actually step up and resource the department as it should be. >> coming up, hillary clinton's future and how it might collide with joe biden's future. and in the rewrite tonight, wayne lapierre attacked president obama's statement about absolutism in his inaugural address. the blood-drenched lobbyist for the nra actually quoted a liberal supreme court justice in making his case last night. i will show you tonight why wayne lapierre was absolutely
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wrong about that supreme court justice and why he is absolutely wrong about the second amendment. and dear friend of the show here tonight to talk about what the president's inaugural address meant to him. and anything else george wants to talk about it whenever he wants to talk about it. [ man ] ring ring... progresso this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. ♪ [ indistinct shouting ] [ male announcer ] time and sales data. split-second stats. [ indistinct shouting ] ♪ it's so close to the options floor... [ indistinct shouting, bell dinging ]
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. coming up, joe biden seems to be positioning himself for a presidential run in 2016. but will he run if hillary clinton runs? and later, in the rewrite, wayne lapierre picked the wrong supreme court justice to make his case last night for the absolute right to carry any kind of gun or ammunition. that is coming up in the rewrite. ♪ [ male announcer ] born from the elements, destined to take them over.
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. >> you have done all you could do to deliver freedom safely to future generations, i salute you and i look ahead to 2016, wishing you much success and extending to you my highest regards. >> madam secretary, first, let me thank you for your service. and i wish you the best in your future endeavors, mostly. >> where would hillary clinton be today were it not for president obama? well, okay, she could be president of the united states. but given that she was actually a losing presidential candidate in 2008, where would she be
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today had president obama not appointed her secretary of state? and where would joe biden be today without president obama? joe biden was an even bigger presidential campaign loser than hillary clinton when barack obama chose him as running mate. and now, the essential question about hillary clinton is will she run for president? a campaign in which she is to presumed frontrunner. and the essential question about joe biden is will he run for president, even if hillary clinton runs for president? and is that why joe biden was literally running down pennsylvania avenue on monday? is he trying to show what a young, and vital 70-year-old he is? the night before the running man worked the parade crowd, joe biden hosted a party at his residence with more than 200 democratic insiders, some of the
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mo strongest. he has convinced the democratic field will be defined quickly and that it may very we will come down to a private chat with hillary clinton, about who should finish what barack obama started. he is intoxicated about the democrats. according to the polls released today, 47% view him favorably, 46% unfavorably. 67% view hillary clinton favorably, 26% view her unfavorably. a democrat close to both joe biden and clinton said it is extremely unlikely they would challenge each other. they will both build up teams and see how it goes. the democrat said one of them will fade away as it becomes more obvious which one of them
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should be the standard-bearer for the obama legacy. i can't see them announcing the run, but both will have teams trying to get them to that. >> i haven't made that judgment, and hillary clinton has not made that judgment. but i can tell you what, everything that should be done over the next two years that i should be a part of would have to be done whether i run or i don't run. if this administration is successful, whoever is running as a democrat is better positioned to win. if it were not successful, whoever runs as a nominee is going to be less likely to win. >> karen finney, i can absolutely imagine both of them running. i don't think there will be a cooperative conversation. >> oh. >> i mean, joe biden, joe biden, look, each one of them watched the other lose a presidential primary. okay? they -- i don't know why either one of them would stand down in the face of -- hillary clinton
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obviously wouldn't. >> you have to ask yourself, running for president is like being hung by your fingernails. i mean it is really, really, a miserable task. >> which both of them have freely chosen in the past. >> they have, so the question is do you want to subject yourself to that again? i would make the prediction that whatever we predict won't happen. >> hillary clinton, that was her problem going into the last campaign. she had a negative rating higher than her approval rating. she has helped that thanks to being president obama's secretary of state. >> right, and we know that first lady and secretary of state are typically two that have the highest ratings, in administrations of both parties. you're seeing today, the wrong day for me to make the prediction, although today the secretary of state was pulled into that. you know, it is early and we're going to have as good odds
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dealing with this, this far out, as predicting as how sasha and malia would do as candidates. it is very early. these are two people who bottom lined and really wanted to be president for a long time. >> but joe biden was not even in this conversation recently, people were not listing him as a possible just on the basis of age alone. and that is why he is being so overt, he needs to be on this list. >> and wait a second, what if the vice president wanted to run. oh, yeah? okay, joe, and his people have also really put the idea out there if he wanted to run he could run. he is very beloved. here is what is most important in what you said. and that is how it would be framed. if either one of them ran, this idea of a third obama term or this idea of sort of continuing the work that was started, i think is going to be the winning message for either of the two of
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them. unlike if it is cuomo or o'malley, who would have to have a different theme. >> would hillary clinton really adopt an obama continuation message? i mean, she is her own political entity. this is a continuation of clintonism. >> i agree, i thought all the blind quotes sounded to me like joe biden people trying to sound like they could be anyone's people. i don't think if you're hillary clinton there is an issue about a private conversation. if you're hillary clinton and you want to go out there and do it, you will go out there, and crush who is in the primary, joe biden or cuomo, up need to. it seems much more of a joe biden-type argument, saying obviously we'll coordinate and work out. >> karen finney, joe biden is a great vice president, it is a job that is hard to be great at. he has found a way to be great at. is there any way he could be
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talked into it doing it for 16 years. >> the longest serving vice president in history. >> are you suggesting the joe biden-hillary clinton ticket? i had that thought today. he has actually made the role of vice president in the way i think she has re-made the role of secretary of state. i think the country would do well to have those two. i think we should float that. >> thank you for the wild speculation tonight. coming up, the mystery of the disappearing debt ceiling, ezra klein is here to solve it. and yes, george takei is here to solve whatever he wants to solve. and wayne lapierre, in his supreme court argument, without ever mentioning that same supreme court justice disagreed with wayne lapierre on the second amendment, coming up. e ne prepared for the careers of our new economy.
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coming up, john boehner's miracle. he actually made the debt ceiling disappear today. ezra klein will explain it all next. and in the rewrite tonight, why wayne lapierre's attack on president obama last night was a crime against history. that is coming up. [ male announcer ] this is anna, her long day teaching the perfect swing
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boehner after the house passed a bill making the debt ceiling disappear until may 18th, without cutting any federal spending. the stupidly named and conceived "no budget, no pay act" passed with a vote. 33 republicans voted against the bill, 199 voted for it. 86 democrats voted for the bill, 111 democrats voted against it. not only will the no budget, no pay act suspend the debt ceiling for about three months, it also requires the house and senate to pass budget resolutions by april 15th, and if they don't, representatives and senators will not get paid, which is of course, wildly unconstitutional. the 27th amendment prohibits congress from modifying their own paychecks in any way. they can vote to change the pay for future congress only, but
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republicans passing an unconstitutional bill, while at the same time relieving the pressure on the debt ceiling was welcomed by some democrats as republicans moving from out-right crazy to half-crazy. >> i'm not sure what happened at the house republican retreat last week, but it sure had a mellowing effect on their members. maybe there were deep breathing exercises, soft jazz music. something happened. either way, we welcomed the outcome of their retreat. the bill represents a huge change on the debt ceiling issue, and hands the president his second major win in a month. and it shows that the republicans are in full-on retreat on fiscal policy. >> joining me now, msnbc's ezra klein, ezra, i didn't see this one coming, did you? >> i'm going to say i actually
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did. the day after the fiscal cliff, i said the republicans are going to fold o-- >> well, i don't mean fold, make -- >> make it go away? >> this particular way of doing it. >> well, i love the idea, i think the only problem with the suspend the debt ceiling and make it go away, is a three-month part, suspend it. but the no pay, is getting misreported. i imagine this is part of the 27th amendment you point out, it is not no budget, no pay. if they don't pass a budget they don't get paid until the final day of the session. it is no budget, you get paid later. but you get all of your money kept in an escrow account, all handed to you on the last day of the session. it is not the same as no budget, no pay. just one more thing about the bill that is not quite on the level. >> and it is not actually a budget they're talking about. all they're talking about is each body talking about passing a resolution, which is not a
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law, and doesn't change anything. it is just a resolution, a promise to do something in the future. and the way they have written it, apparently ezra, if the senate passes one, then okay, the senate can get paid. if the house passes one then house members can get paid. but the 27th amendment very simply says no law varying the compensation of the services of senators and representatives shall take effect until the elected representatives shall have intervened. this varies their compensation. and i just want to play this video, we have to do this. of what john boehner said about their respect for the constitution. the new respect for the constitution that they were bringing to the house of representatives when they took over in 2011. let's listen to this. >> i mean, gone on the days when the constitution will be ignored. in this congress, there will be clear constitutional authority required, when members file bills. >> remember that, ezra, they
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were supposed to file their bill and constitutional memo, saying why the thing was constitutional. >> i do remember that, i went back to look to see if there was one, now i wish i had. you mentioned the point of the budget resolutions that both have to pass. there were two interesting things, one saying both democrats or republicans have to pass a one-page bill. but it is true the senate democrats haven't passed a full budget since 2009. they argue that the 2011 budget -- i'm sorry, budget control act, acted as a budget for '11 and '12. but i think it is good. i think the elected representatives should tell us where their priorities lie. but the really thing that happened to the house republicans on the way to no budget, no pay, was that they agreed in order to get their more conservative members on board. to write a budget, paul ryan will write a budget that will balance inside of ten years. to give you an idea of how hard
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that is, his previous budget balanced around 38. so in order to get it over to ten years from now, you will have incredible cuts that will be very unpopular. i don't have any idea, i don't think they have any idea how they will do it. >> but, they are not specified in the budget resolutions which are talked about in this bill. they are just budget resolutions to other jurisdictions, which is saying this is what we think you should do in terms of managing -- >> but the cap -- >> nothing real, all done in the reconciliation bill later, just a promise of we think we'll do it like this in the future. we'll have much more, thank you for joining us. thank you. coming up in the rewrite, the washington lobbyist who m e makes sure our mass murderers are the best equipped mass murderers in the world, actually
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quoted a supreme court justice to make his argument about guns. what he did not mention was that that supreme court justice disagreed with the nra on the second amendment. n jellyfish, impact life expectancy in the u.s., real estate in hong kong, and the optics industry in germany? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing.
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just like you. go national. go like a pro. >> last night in nevada, the head of the nra used a quote from a former supreme court justice to support the claim that the second amendment guarantees an absolute right to have any kind of gun you want. the trouble is, the supreme court justice he quoted did not believe that. that is next in the rewrite. [ dog barks ] ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] something powerful is coming. ♪ see it on february 3rd. ♪
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last night at this hour, we went live to nevada to cover the washington lobbyists for mass murderers, wayne lapierre, delivering a similar rant against president obama's second inaugural address. >> >> i would like to talk to you about one line near the end of president obama, speech, where he said "we cannot mistake absolutism for principle." let me quote the president again. we cannot mistake absolutism for principle. >> well, okay. but when i heard the president say that, gun control did not come to mind. i thought he was talking about modern-day republicans, which is to say neanderthal republicans, who will under no circumstances
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raise taxes or include spending on anything, except of course, when they increase spending on things that they like. crazy wayne quoted only one person to support his defense of absolutism. a supreme court justice. no, not anton scalia, the most conservative member of the court, because justice scalia disagrees with lapierre on the second amendment. he does not believe that the right to bear arms is absolute. >> what limitations on the right to keep and bear arms are permissible. some are, because there were some that were acknowledged at the time. >> no, there is nothing any current member of the supreme court has said that could help crazy wayne make his case last night. and so he reached all the way back to a supreme court justice
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who died 41 years ago, and was a liberal member of the supreme court, who if he were alive today would be a solid vote for gun control on the supreme court. >> don't take it from me, take it from former democratic u.s. senator, and u.s. supreme court justice hugo black. 50 years ago, after he had been appointed to the united states supreme court by franklin roosevelt, liberal justice hugo black said, and i'm going to quote him right here for you. he said "there are absolutes in our bill of rights and they were put there on purpose by men who knew what words meant and meant their prohibitions to be absolutes." end quote. >> justice black said that in a very long lecture about the bill of rights at nyu law school in
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1960. but in that lecture where justice black said there are absolutes, he very specifically said the second amendment is not one of them. he pointed out that the supreme court in a unanimous decision that included his vote, had already restricted the second amendment to not include the right to have a machine gun, or a sawed off shot gun, the favorite tools of bank robbers and gangsters at the time. and so crazy wayne was not standing on the liberalism of justice hugo black last night. he would have been upset to see his words manipulated by the lobbyists, who make sure that when mass murderers enter the shopping malls and areas, they will be able to fire as many bullets as possible without
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reloading. >> we believe that if neither the criminal nor the political class and their body guards and security people are limited by magazine capacity, we shouldn't be limited in our capacity either. >> crazy wayne is constantly comparing nra members and gun owners tonight,
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in his speech, to try to make it appear that justice black agreed with wayne lapierre, in any way, that was a crime against history. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if we took the already great sentra apart and completely reimagined it with best-in-class combined mpg and more interior room than corolla and civic and a technology suite with bluetooth, navigation,
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president obama received applause 25 times during his inaugural address, two of those times happening during what george takei declared on
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facebook to be the best moment of the entire speech. >> our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well. >> george takei, what was it like to hear that passage? >> it was extraordinary. it was deeply moving. and for my husband, brad, and me, it was very, very personal. >> you were home watching it with brad? >> we were, on tv. and those words had never been uttered by a president of the united states at an -- in an inaugural speech. and after he said that, they cut to a shot of the mass of people gathered there on the mall from the capitol to the washington monument. and it looked like it was
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shimmering, all waving the flag. this was my america today. but the president said our journey is not finished until, and i thought of just four years ago, when president obama was first elected. it was a bitter sweet election for us. for the first time we had an african-american president four years ago. but in that same election in california, proposition 8 was passed. >> uh-huh. >> it was -- a very, very bitter defeat there. marriage equality was wiped out from california. but this may, that is going to be up before the united states supreme court together with the challenge to doma, the defense of marriage act. we have come an incredible distance in just four years. we are so near to getting marriage equality. and that is what this --
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inaugural speech stated. >> let's listen to another passage that i know moved you also, president obama talking -- phrasing this in another way and putting it in another context. let's listen to that. >> we, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths, that all of us are created equal is the star that guides us still. just as it guided our forebears through seneca falls and selma and stonewall. just as it guided all of those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great mall to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone. to hear a king proclaim that our individual freedom is bound to the freedom of every soul on earth. [ applause ]
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>> seneca falls, selma, and stonewall, that was an event that happened just south of us here in manhattan. an historic moment in the gay rights movement. >> a seminal moment for us, in gay rights, and women, equality, and for african-americans. and for the lgbt community to be put in that context was a thrilling experience. and ours is not finished yet. we still have some ways to go. but with president obama, it is going to happen. and the next -- i think not four years, just this year it is going to happen. i am very optimistic. and we're going to be reaching another benchmark in american history. >> abraham lincoln said that the constitution is organic law. whichs